We wrote about quite a few things last year, but there were five major trends that I wrote about, possibly that helped the numbers a bit. As another recap of the year, I’ll review five of the major trends that I covered and discuss some possibilities for next year. I base these off both my blog’s numbers, and the presence in the article on googletrends.com year-end review of the most searched terms. Let’s dig in.
5. Uvalde, Mass School Shootings, and Police Actions
2022 had the second highest rate of mass shootings in a decade. Which, if you read some of the posts I wrote about it, scares me to wonder what the worst year was like.
“In this particular case, I believe it likely was because of the mass shooting, specifically the one at Uvalde. You can actually take your pick of tragedies, there were eight mass shootings in the US since Tuesday. (Editorial note: the figures climbed almost exponentially as I wrote this post. I’m leaving the figure unchanged to make a point…you can’t even get a fricken blog post about mass shootings finished before there are literally 20 more.) I see the working definition is at least four people not counting the shooter maintain injuries or die from a gunshot. One of these was in my proud red state of Oklahoma, the municipality of Taft was afflicted by a 26-year-old who allegedly fired into a crowded Memorial Day festival, leaving a 39-year-old woman dead, and seven other victims suffering non-life-threatening injuries.”
The shootings were happening so fast at the time, I literally could not keep up with them. We live in dark times. “How to help Uvalde” was last year’s fifth most searched “how to help” category.
I wrote several posts about mass shootings, the next fairly coherent piece was:
In that post I stated “You are sitting in your easy chair, watching CNN, Fox News, or whatever other news you watch. And there is a politician giving a harangue about guns. Either a Democrat quacking about the evils of guns, or a Republican howling about how we will be enslaved when the Democrats take away all of our guns. You just can’t help yourself. You lift your remote with dramatic flair….point it as if it were a Star Trek phaser or a magic wand (or a gun…..is that too “on the nose?”) and just before you change the channel to Youtube to start searching for the latest Branden Tenold video or Rifftrax, you shout and spit out “You’re despicable. Just despicable!”
“More and more of us are seeing through this thin charade. The two parties have been in cahoots for quite some time, but they sure had most of us fooled for a long time.”
The Uvalde police were harshly criticized for the way they handled the shooting. And I’m afraid my respect for the institution of American police slid quite a way down this year. I tried not to write much about it, as I have two friends who are police that I have intense respect for. But more and more I see my friends as the exception, and the rule to be to serve and protect the interests of the wealthy elites, and the rest of us be damned. Nothing to see here, stay in line citizen.
In this post I shared “I’m not a journalist (but I play one on tv), I’m simply a tired blogger. It would be so easy to take the coward’s way out on this one. I could write about the ten best ties worn by Klaus Schwab, or the top five groups conspiracy theorists love to hate. But to me, this story, even more than all the shit show that is the Trump FBI debacle, is the ultimate symbol of what our society is devolving into.
“An Orwellian dystopia of the powerful pounding a boot into the face of the powerless. Let’s dive in.”
I wrote in some detail about police brutality. Looking back over that post I likely should have stated the police side of the argument more pointedly, if only to placate two of my good friends who are police (and are some of the good ones who don’t deserve all the vitriol that is often thrown at the police). But I have come to believe that the once honorable American police force that “serves and protects” is devolving swiftly into an armed division of paramilitary upholders of a despotic hegemony. I ended the post with these paragraphs:
“I know it is bad form to point out a problem and then suggest no solutions. I’m not suggesting violence or revolution. Even if I did, I am not made of the stuff to lead or fight in such a conflagration. The bad guys seem to have won the war. My fellow Americans, how do we turn this around?
“Honestly! Please send comments. Please share this post. Please discuss how we can prevent or end the tyranny we all fear. While I propose no violence, I do believe that there needs to be action taken. If we lie passively, I don’t think the beatings will stop.
“Do we comply? Do we give up our liberties? Do we decide the struggle is not worth the effort? Do we give in to the despair? Do we allow this present darkness to become the status quo? Who are we anymore, after all? Are we slaves? Are we the dead? What happened to our spirit? Did it die on 9/11? Will our children and grandchildren know even a tithe of the liberties we once took for granted?”
4. Batman and Pope
Yes, I made several references to the Batman franchise. I even use the Joker as one of my profile pictures. (Note to self, when/if I monetize, change the Joker picture). The Batman was the fourth most searched film on Google last year. I combine him with the Pope because, while he was not one of the most searched people last year, he is trending high at this time because one of the Popes (two Popes…so confusing) is ill and the other is asking for prayers. And I wanted an excuse to share last Easter’s post, my twelfth most viewed post: “Holy Thursday Batman! The Pope Washes Prisoner’s Feet!” https://wordpress.com/post/tiredmidnightblogger.com/1379
In that post I detailed my intellectual wrestling with the concept of Christianity and ended it on a pretty neutral frame that confused my ex-girlfriend. I honestly hate pinning down my religion for my readers, because 1) my beliefs evolve with time and hopefully with learning, 2) I’ll likely irritate a lot of my Christian friends by saying this, but I think a lot of us have gotten Jesus’ message wrong, and profoundly wrong, and 3) I’ve read the Protestant Bible ten times through, in King James, New King James, NIV, Living Bible, frankly, I’ve forgotten some of the translations I’ve read it in, but having said that, I am no true Biblical scholar, and I am very far from being a prophet. I think if God is trying to speak to me, likely it is a divine version of Homer Simpson’s “Dote!” Just like I would be extra cautious about writing medical advice on this blog, I am very reticent to give spiritual advice. Consult your pastor (or priest, or guru, or Dude) and take your prayers as prescribed.
But in that article, I indulged myself in some out loud thinking about the topic.
“When I was a child, I really didn’t understand Easter. I knew it was about bunnies and eggs and something about Jesus dying and coming back from the dead. And while it was a great story, I didn’t understand how in the world it saved me from sin. I’ve heard many and many a theory, and I know some are satisfied by this story, and some by that. I’ve done a lot of thinking about it lately. Especially since each passing day I become more and more afraid I will never see my son alive again.”
“Looking up several more websites to corroborate (as best as a tired blogger can) I find there are several verses from the Gospel of John that we have from no later date than 175 AD AD, granted, 140 years later, but still basically written by a scribe who may have theoretically had a chance to talk to someone who had talked with the apostles. This would be less than eighty years from the time the Apostle John died. While this does not prove the Gospels, it does prove that we had the story of Jesus trial no later than 175 AD. The Romans were a very practical people, and the archives of that time would have been easy to look up. The Roman’s disputed Jesus divinity, but not his existence, nor that of Pontius Pilate, who is mentioned in this papyrus. We have here John 18: 31-33, and John 18:37-38, so by this time we have Pilate asking Jesus if he were king of the Jews, and Jesus responding, “A king am I. For this I have been born, and (for this) I have come into the world.”
I ended that post with this:
“The best I can find, the latest we have evidence of the manuscripts [making claims that Jesus is God] is between 175 AD (there is that number again) and 225 AD. I can’t perfectly pin down the other text, but we have the Gospel of Luke complete by the fourth century. So, whether it evolved or started from the beginning, we have the Gospels themselves with the claim in 225 AD, with it being Canonical in most churches by the fourth century.
“So, what are we to make of all this? I cannot tell you what to think or believe. I’m just giving you the very vague scholarship of a tired blogger. If you believe, then God bless you. If you believe something else, then I simply pray that the True God Who is bigger than my beliefs or confusions will lead you on a kinder path than I have walked. And that our illusions of God are shattered and replaced with a greater Truth every day. And if you believe there is no God, we are still children of the same Creation that made us all. Happy Easter to one and all.”
3. Tulsi Gabbard
Once again, I am bending my own rules. No, she wasn’t one of last years most searched, but she is trending again, so I’ll write about her again (and thus my Machiavellian schemes progress). Plus, that post was the eighth most viewed in my blog, so why not keep the momentum going?
What I love about this story is someone is actually having the guts to do what I think many more of us should be doing. We need to be leaving the parties. But we are all scared to leave the parties. Because if I leave my party than the other party (who is raw evil) will just be more powerful, and in the end evil will win.
But one of the central themes of this blog is that both parties are corrupt. Neither one cares about you. And I think one of the best things that could happen for America would be for the Duopoly to end. The Two-Party system is broken. Maybe it worked some time before I was born, but all it has done in my lifetime has been to drag this country to her knees.
Tulsi’s words on exiting the Democrat Party:
“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, are hostile to people of faith & spirituality, demonize the police & protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, dragging us ever closer to nuclear war,” Gabbard said on Twitter.
“Gabbard represented Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District from 2013 to 2021 as a Democrat, and in 2020 she mounted an unsuccessful bid for the party’s presidential nomination. In a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, she claimed that the party she’s exiting stands for the “powerful elite,” not the people.”
Since the time I wrote that post she started trending again because she tore George Santos a new one.
Evidently Santos made several false claims during his campaign. He “embellished his resume.” Evidently, she didn’t see the point in going easy on him when she interviewed him while subbing for Tucker Carlson on Fox News. Instead of towing the party line and cutting him slack because he has the holy “R” by his name, she lit into him for lying. “Have you no shame?”
Honestly, I’m taking it as a breath of fresh air that someone is calling out the politicians. I don’t care if he is Republican or not, someone needs to start holding elected official’s feet to the fire. Well done, Tulsi!
2. Johnny Depp & Amber Heard
‘It has been a long time since a celebrity story had such a profound effect on me. And while I usually just can’t stand our voyeuristic tendency to devour every paparazzi photo of our favorite star, this case had me riveted. This was the seventeenth most viewed post of mine, but it also helped inspire me to write a multi part series on relationships and feminism, leading to the sixteenth, sixth, and fifth most viewed posts I’ve written. I’ll leave the links here. And on googletrends.com Johnny Depp was the most searched person, and Amber Heard was third most searched person last year.
Ok…so I added a couple I’m kinda proud of. They’re on topic, please feel free to read if you are interested.
I’m only going to share one paragraph from one post, if this interests you then feel free to read more, if not, then likely none of my thinking about the battle between the sexes will appeal to you:
“I don’t mean to hop up and down too much here but…poverty makes college harder. You fit in less. The girls are profoundly less interested in you. You can’t afford the best computer. You have to work full or part-time (and the college itself is a full-time job unless you can get someone else to do the work for you…I wonder which socioeconomic strata can afford that?)
“And if you are looking for a mate, a man has to be an economic advantage to the woman, she need not be an economic advantage to him. And the odds of a man accusing you of harassment vs a woman accusing you…In my experience, the biggest barrier was my past. I can’t speak for women, but I can tell you as a man, a college girl is absolutely not interested in your dark past. Maybe in the movies, Anastasia wants to know all about the poverty-laden childhood of Christian Gray, but in real life, I’ve only seen them interested in the past of the rich. The poor are evidently boring.”
1. Politics Could Start a Fight…
The topic that I wrote the most about, and that ended up getting the most views, was politics. There were a profound number of political topics that trended, Uvalde, the midterm elections, abortion debates. “Election results” was the most googled news term of the year. I could site post after post, but I’ll just share the top three viewed that I wrote on political topics.
One of the posts is about Mar-a-logo, one is about the Hunter Biden laptop controversy, the other is about Governor Stitt in Oklahoma. And I’ll share what I think is my most salient quote amongst these.
I’ll share a quote, and then sum up and be done with the year.
“As for the investigation, I’m not done with the series so I won’t declare I’ve made up my mind yet, but in my mind (I’ll offend a LOT of my liberal friends here) Hillary Clinton may not deserve to go to jail, but she mishandled top secret information. Don’t get me wrong, I doubt I would have done much better. But…that’s why I don’t go into politics. Both Hillary and Trump felt they were above the law. They both feel like they are better than the rest of us, and the rules don’t apply to them. Both have spent the last 30 years with silver spoons in their mouths, and the FBI comes along (don’t get me wrong, I see the FBI as a bunch of bullies too), and dares to suggest they take the damned spoon out of their mouths long enough to answer the American people.
“Hillary lost the election due to her hubris. Honestly, I don’t hold any ill feelings towards these folks. I hope she has learned her lesson, lives happily ever after as an also ran, and the FBI leaves her alone. But make no mistake, the general Republican voter, right or wrong, sees no difference between what Hillary did, and what Trump did. She was let go, and we are going to charge Trump. Well…again, I’m not going to draw a conclusion yet. I have two (or three or four) more posts to write on this subject. But if the Democrats think the this will do anything for their cause other than to bring hell down around all of our ears, then they are as foolish as Trump.”
Mostly, last year was another year of loss for me, as, I believe, most of us have been experiencing for at least two years now (if not more). If nothing else, this blog is helping me clarify my own thinking. I hope it is helpful and entertaining to all my friends and followers. I love you whether you voted for Trump, Hillary, or Vermin Supreme. Unless you are a Neo Nazi or some other kind of extreme hater, I value your view point and opinion. I hope the next year is a year of growth, of spiritual and intellectual awakening. I hope at least some of you realize some of the silly dreams of your youth. I hope the old age with grace and dignity, and share their wisdom with the young. I hope we draw together in peace and harmony, and may the Hegemony either fall in disgrace, or evolve into something benevolent and truly enlightened. I hope you have wise goals, silly goals, audacious goals, and I hope you achieve the ones that will make you a better human being, and draw you closer to Truth, whatever that Truth may turn out to be. I hope your life is better for having read this. And I hope next year is the best you have ever known.
Please comment kindly, constructively, and hopefully together we can figure this out.
Happy New Year!
“ If nothing else, this blog is helping me clarify my own thinking… I hope the next year is a year of growth, of spiritual and intellectual awakening. I hope at least some of you realize some of the silly dreams of your youth… I hope you have wise goals, silly goals, audacious goals, and I hope you achieve the ones that will make you a better human being, and draw you closer to Truth…And I hope next year is the best you have ever known.”
Amen & Amen!
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I’m glad you like that! I was trying to think of what the last words I wanted read this year by ya’ll should be, and that is what I came up with. I especially hope these things for you and yours, for Matthew Miller, the Cheatwood family, the Joneses, Scott, Jeremy, my own family, even my ex-girlfriend, who was often incredibly supportive. Now what should I write first off next year….? Ideas welcome.
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Dare you write about Dreams and Plans? maybe a couple of your own? maybe take some generic survey results and add that TMBWBaM sarcas— I mean insight. 🙂
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That is a fantastic idea.
While I applaud the effort, Tulsi’s flight from the Democratic Party was imho largely for show. By her own admission she still plans to caucus with the Democratic Party (will likely vote with them as well) so this is nothing short of political theater.
With Amber literally shitting the bed, Johnny getting hosed even when he won seems almost comedically representative of the previous couple of years.
Auld lang syne and all that.
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And Mathew Miller left an insightful comment, but instead of clicking send on my reply, I hit delete. So, I’ll send my response and hope he forgives my lack of technical savvy. He was likely correct that Tulsi Gabbard’s withdrawal from the Democratic Party is at least in part an attention grab. My only rebuttal would be to watch the first twenty or thirty minutes of the JRE where Joe Rogan interviews both Gabbard and Jocko Willink, and you will at least understand better why I think the way I do about her. And as for Amber Heard, I agree she is the perfect symbol of the current gynocentric America. At some time tonight, I will raise a glass for auld lang syne. “We’ll take a cup of hatred yet for auld lang syne.” “Every time Amber Heard craps in a bed, an angel gets her wings.” Sorry about deleting your awesome comment.